The Book of Romans - Part 2

Hello and Welcome to Our Church Without Walls:

I’m preaching this Sunday on THE BOOK OF ROMANS

Join with me now as I give you an exposition on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans

Today’s Text is Part 2; Chapter 1, verses 18-32.

Last week, we began a study in the book of Romans. We began in chapter 1, verse 1, and made our way through verse 17. But before I begin preaching this section, I must warn you about the controversial subject on which we will cover. I ask that you understand that I am only preaching God’s Word, and what God says about certain things. These are not my words or preaching, but God’s.

With that being said, let’s begin in chapter 1, verse 18, where Paul begins showing how the wrath of God is revealed unto the ungodly and unrighteous. He shows proof that even the ungodly knows God, but refuse to glorify Him (verse 21). Paul continues in verses 25 -27 to show how they turn the truth of God into a lie in order to try and justify their sinful behavior. And when vile sinners continuously refuse to repent, God gives them over to their wicked destruction and eventually unto His wrath. But in verse 18, the Apostle begins to convince Jews, as well as Gentiles, of their lack of righteousness to stand before God and their need for God's grace! For even today, one must see the righteousness of God condemning before he will see the righteousness of God justifying, which will be His acceptance of the sinner. And according to Dr. R. C. Sproul, it was Augustine who wrote "The righteousness here is not God's righteousness, but that which God provides for people who do not have righteousness; it is the righteousness which He makes available by free grace to all who believe".

In its original Greek, the word “righteousness” means "justification". When we believe in Jesus Christ, God treats us just as though we were as righteous as Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Now in Romans 4:6, it is called "imputed righteousness". It simply means that God puts into our spiritual account the very worth of Jesus Christ.

As stated in the World’s Bible Dictionary, "One of the most awesome requirements of God made upon men and women is that they be righteous, that is, conform to His ethical and moral standards (Psalm 15:2; Micah 6:8). Since God is holy, He cannot allow sinners into His presence (Isaiah 6:3-5). Since all persons are sinners, they could not be saved apart from the supernatural intervention of God (Romans 3:10 & 3:23). The righteous demands of God coupled with the inability of man might present an insoluble dilemma. God Himself, however, has graciously solved the problem. He sent Christ, who never sinned, to die for our sins and thus satisfy His own wrath toward us. Nevertheless, the Bible clearly urges all men to trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and thus be reckoned as righteous by God (Romans 4:24)".

Now, they are without excuse! In the last part of chapter 1, Paul states that God had given the Gentiles (the unbelievers) the knowledge of His existence (verse 19). There were some who already had this knowledge and were convinced of the existence of one Supreme Being. And in verse 20, we read by what means this knowledge was obtained. First, there is the work of creation itself. "The invisible things of God" are clearly seen. In other words, the power of God and the Godhead are those things which are "seen". God has imprinted on the heart and mind of men the fact of His existence as being a Supreme Creator and God. The thoughts of man and his sense of a supreme God are confirmed through the manifestation of the things clearly seen. For example, the moon, the stars, the earth and the things of this earth point to one Master Creator.

Secondly, these things which were made could not have made themselves. Nor could they just fall into an exact order and harmony by some random chance order or explosion. Man has been trying for thousands of years to prove otherwise with absolutely no success. As a matter of fact, the more experiments and tests that are designed to disclaim the existence of a Supreme Creator, the more proof is produced that points to the fact that God is who He claims to be!

By the way, due to the lack of evidence, Darwinism has been proven to be false by its own experiments, and recounted by numerous atheist scientists! As a matter of fact, further evidence and confirmation of a Supreme Creator is the frame and structure of human bodies, especially the faculties and complexity of the brain, as well as the human soul. To this date, not a single creature has been able to explain with any degree of certainty, the reproduction of human life outside of a Supreme Creator. However, there is yet still some who refuse to believe the evidence and reject the truth of the knowledge they have of God. The continual rejection of God's truth and knowledge of God separates man from his creator. Then one day, when their life is over here on earth, and they stand before God in judgment, they will be without excuse. They will be without excuse, because they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful for Him even though they had this knowledge of God (verse 21).

The word "knew" in this verse, according to Joseph H. Thayer, in its original Greek, means "to become acquainted with the knowledge of God, and Christ, and the things relating to them, or proceeding from them. In other words, they had the knowledge of the nature and will of God. The polytheism of the Gentiles and the false wisdom of the Jews is in contrast with the nature and will of God".

However, Dr. R. C. Sproul states the following about the usage of the word "know": "The Greek word gnosko means 'to know', but it can mean 'to know intellectually', by cognition (the Latin term), or 'to know intimately', as seen in Genesis 4:1: 'Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived.' Then those who, born of the Spirit, are born unto this intimate, personal knowledge of God that only the redeemed have.

When Paul writes to the Corinthians about the Spirit, who gives that kind of knowledge, he says that the natural man does not know God in that sense (2 Corinthians 2:14). Here in Romans, he says that man's problem is not that the knowledge fails to get through in the sense of a cognitive awareness of the reality of God. God is angry, because that knowledge does get through. It is what we do with the knowledge that provokes the wrath of God. Knowing God, we refuse to honor him as God; neither are we grateful".

It is a fact that when truth is forsaken, errors multiply. The foolishness and practical wickedness of the heart cloud and darken the intellectual powers and faculty. Therefore, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools (verse 22).

The Bible makes it very clear that there is a limit to God's mercy. In verses 18-21, we read three times about human beings being given up by God. They are given up to their vile passions, the lust of the flesh, and their reprobate mind. God gives people over to what they want and abandons them to their sinful impulses and removes His restraints. This is called judicial abandonment. And when one refuses to repent and accept the knowledge of God as truth, God abandons the impenitent sinner forever. And the worst thing that could happen to anyone is judicial abandonment! However, according to verse 26, it is for this reason when one continues in sinful passions that "God gave them up to vile passions".

God gave them up as the just punishment of their idolatry leaving them to themselves. It was as if God was taking off the bridle of restraining grace for His grace is His own, and owes no man, and He may give or withhold His grace at His own pleasure. Leaving them unto themselves includes uncleanness and vile affections (verse 24, 26 & 27). And Psalm 49:20 tells us that any man refusing to understand the God that made him becomes worse than the beasts that perish! For God didn’t make a mistake! He created them in the womb the way He wanted them to be when they came out of that womb! So you see, it is through the lust of their own hearts the blame is to be laid. A man cannot be delivered up to a greater slavery than to be given up to his own lusts. And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong, according to the Word of God! And they are the ones who are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. And that’s because although they know full well God's just sentence - that those who practice such things deserve to die (spiritually) – and according to Dr. James McLemore, “they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them".

Now, in verse 29, Paul adds to sexual immorality wickedness and covetousness. (Covetousness is the sign of someone who does not want God in his thinking; yet all three are sins that lead to man’s depravity if no change takes place. The reason God takes sin so seriously is because He knows how destructive sin is to this world and our friends, to family, and to marriage.) But Paul's list that shows man’s need for redemption grows even larger. He adds maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and evil-mindedness. The Apostle continues in verses 30-32 with backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents; without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. Then Paul closes this chapter by making a most profound claim in verse 32 about those he just described saying this, "who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

They knew the law; therefore, they knew the judgment of God upon their sin! They knew the penalty was death. But they not only knew their aggregation of sin, but took pleasure in doing them. Not only do they take pleasure in doing them, but defend and justify it, and then encourage others to do likewise. But according to verse 32, Scripture says those who support and approve the sinful behavior, they too are deserving of death! But Scripture doesn’t stop there. It says that even those who neither oppose nor participate in such sinful behavior are inexcusable in being justified before God. But wait!! There is an escape! It is called repentance. For God loves the sinner, but hates the sinful behavior. And because God loves the sinner, He provides an escape from the death of sin. So Paul shows the need for repentance to both the Gentile and the Jew. For the Scriptures also tells us in Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Are you saved today? Are you saved from the sin that will separate you from God for eternity? Are you saved today from being cast into the eternal lake of fire? Do not turn the truth of God into a lie anymore. Turn to Jesus Christ, repent from your sin, and live forgiven, and forevermore.

I’m Dr. Robby sharing His Word, His Work, His Way